Anna Wins Norwich British Tour
Anna Popescu won her first British Tour event in Norwich yesterday. Throughout the event Anna won 5 matches to claim the title. Anna was competing in her 4th British Tour event of the year, after previous events in Corby, Bolton and Newcastle. In the first round Anna was drawn against Amy Gatford and she made light work of her opponent with a 6-3, 6-1 win in just over an hour on court. The next round would be a tricky encounter as Anna was up against the top seed and WTA world ranked #1232, Aimee Gibson. Anna layed down a marker in the first set by dictating the play and controlling the majority of points. She ended up winning the first set 6-0. The second set proved to be a bit tougher as Gibson fought back and worked her way into the match. The set went to 4-4 and the next 2 games were very tight. Anna kept her nerve, continuing to play proactive tennis and ended up winning the set and with it the match 6-4. This would be the first win for Anna against a world ranked player. Anna then had a comfortable win in the quarter-final against Harriot Petley 6-0, 6-1 before being tested a bit further in the semi final by Summer Yardley. Yardley was able to control a lot more of the points which made the match a lot tighter. However, Anna stayed solid in the crucial moments in each set to claim her place in the final 6-4, 7-5.
The final would be against the 6th seed Camille Verden-Anderson. Anna had practiced with Verden-Anderson a few times over the week so had an idea of what to expect from her opponent. The emotion of the situation got to Anna early as she was desperate to show her best level in this match. This worked against her early as it stopped her focusing on her plans. At 5-2 down in the first she began to think clearer about what she needed to do in this match. She got back to 5-4, but left herself a little too much work to do in the first. Onto the second and the match momentum was definitely even and quite possibly marginally in Anna’s favour. The second set evolved to 5-4 in Anna’s favour and after a hard fought game, she claimed the set 6-4. The tournament would now be decided by a championship tiebreak to 10 points!
The early points went very evenly to 4-4, before Anna stormed away to a 9-4 lead. On the 9-4 point Anna dictated from start to finish, got herself into the net for a put away volley to claim the tournament…..she missed it wide! Anna carried some baggage from this point to the next and it was quickly 9-6. However, Anna wouldn’t be denied and she claimed the tiebreak 10-6 and with it her maiden British tour title. “It feels great to get my first win at this level. I was happy with my performances during the whole tournament, especially my performance in the second round, where I beat a world ranked player. My main focus heading into the tournament was trying to stay up the court and dictate the points using my forehand, as early as I could in the point. This is something I definitely improved upon throughout and something I will continue to work on.” Anna said.
Next up for Anna will be a couple of Women’s Pro Tour events in Romania in a few weeks time. We all wish you good luck for these tournaments and the rest of the summer.